Prepper Interview: “Martin”
Article by Chris Mandia
He prefers to remain anonymous. For the purposes of this article, we’ll call him “Martin.” A
resident of Los Angeles, specifically the port town of Wilmington, CA, Martin isn’t your typical
A floating Prepper
Unlike the majority of Survivalists – land based and logistically bound to roadways – both
paved and unpaved, Martin’s homestead floats. That’s right, I said float – as in the Pacific
Ocean. Berthed in one of the many low-rentmarinas that inhabit the Port of Los Angeles, a
32-foot sailboat equipped with an outboard motor, houses Martin 24/7. Equipped with
outriggers, the craft can string several long lines in an effort to land albacore and tuna,
which flourish off the coast. With a half-ton refrigerated hold, Martin certainly has the
means to live off the grid for quite some time. In fact, he claims to able to remain on
the briny deep for several months. Coupled with a high-speed desalination kit, Martin’s postulation seems feasible. That is, of course, dependent on several factors:
weather; fuel for his outboard motor; fish migrations; and the inevitable mental strain
brought about by extreme isolation, i.e. stuck on a boat in the middle of the ocean.
amid the Channel Islands – about an hour north of Los Angeles. Caught in the “doldrums” (essentially
a windless parcel of water), his vessel was left in the lurch for nearly 48 hours. Bad juju for sure
– as Martin generally cruised with little food or water back then. Despite an abundance of Coors
Light, the tenured sailor soon felt the pangs of hunger. But according to Martin, digesting the
sense of helplessness troubled him the most. Ironically, that feeling of powerlessness ultimately
provided the impetus towards self-reliance. Eventually the wind picked up. A hurried beeline towards
Wilmington followed. The incident resonated with Martin. Things could have been much worse. As such,
he began researching survivalist topics and eventually linked up other like-minded individuals.
Martin’s story intrigued me. In spite of living within sight of the Pacific Ocean, I had never
considered it a bug out destination. Through a mutual acquaintance, Martin was gracious enough to
grant me an interview.
Q: What do you like most about being a Prepper?
A: First off, don’t like the term “Prepper.” Something the media uses. It’s not me.
Q: Well then, what do you prefer to be called?
A: Survivalist; a free man.
Q: Okay, we’ve established you’re a Survivalist – back to the first question, what do you like most
about your avocation?
A: Love the toys, the secure feeling that I’ll be okay, the fact that I can provide for my tribe.
Q: You mention Government interference – anything in particular on your radar?
A: FEMA concentration camps.
Q: As you know, most Preppers/Survivalists tend to be land-based. Why the boat?
A: Why not? Talk freedom, it’s the ocean. International waters. Need food, it’s right under your
Q: Is there a mantra of which you live by?
A: A man is responsible for family safety. Those who fail to prepare, fail their families.
With that, I left Martin to nurse his beer amidst the neglected wharf he calls home…for now.
Article written by Chris Mandia. Chris Mandia is a Southern California writer who writes on military issues. Serving two tours in Iraq as a Marine Corps infantryman, you can find out more about him at www.chrismandia.com.